Spinal Stenosis

Orthopedic & Spine Care located in Bristol, CT

Spinal Stenosis

Aging takes a gradual but progressive toll on your spine, resulting in spinal stenosis that typically causes symptoms in people 50 and older. At Connecticut Advanced Spine in Bristol, Connecticut, Ashish Upadhyay, MD, MS, has extensive experience diagnosing spinal stenosis and providing holistic care ranging from conservation medication and exercise to surgical solutions treating the underlying cause. Call the office today or request an appointment online if you have back, neck, leg, or arm pain.

Service Q & A

What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis develops when the space inside the spinal canal narrows. The spinal canal creates a protective passageway for your spinal nerves. But the nerves become pinched when the spine conditions protrude into (and narrow) the opening. 

While an injury could lead to spinal stenosis, the following age-related degenerative conditions usually cause the problem:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Thickened ligaments
  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Slipped vertebrae (spondylolisthesis)
  • Bone spurs

These conditions may cause local pain in the spine, and they may cause additional symptoms if they pinch the nerves.

What symptoms does spinal stenosis cause?

You may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Neck or back pain
  • Pain or tingling in your arms or legs
  • Numbness in your arms or legs  
  • Leg cramping when walking
  • Muscle weakness in your arms or legs
  • Fatigue and pain when standing or walking

Spinal stenosis is a top cause of sciatica, a sudden severe pain beginning in your lower back and shooting down through one leg.

How is spinal stenosis diagnosed?

At Connecticut Advanced Spine, Dr. Upadhyay begins by reviewing your medical history. Then, he completes a thorough physical and neurological examination, followed by additional diagnostic testing if needed.

You may need imaging studies, or Dr. Upadhyay may perform a myelogram, which reveals problems in the spinal canal.

How is spinal stenosis treated?

Dr. Upadhyay creates a customized treatment plan based on your symptoms and overall health, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications
  • Posture management
  • Weight loss
  • Physical therapy (stretching and strengthening exercises)
  • Spinal injections (epidural steroid injections)

Many people find that a few months of conservative treatments improve their symptoms and allow them to return to their usual activities. But if your pain persists, you may need surgery to deal with the underlying condition. 

Dr. Upadhyay has extensive experience and training in many surgical techniques for treating spinal stenosis, including:

  • Decompressive laminectomy (removing part of the vertebra to create more space)
  • Discectomy (to remove a damaged disc)
  • Spinal fusion (to restore spinal stability)
  • Artificial disc replacement (to preserve mobility after removing a disc)
  • Laminotomy, foraminotomy, and medial facetectomy (different techniques to decompress the nerves)

Call Connecticut Advanced Spine today or request an appointment online to get relief from the pain of spinal stenosis.